Book Review: Death In The Traveling City by Nathalie Mallet

51N5frnb1MLTitle: Death in the Traveling City (Prince Amir Series #3)
Author: Nathalie Mallet
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery and Suspense, Romance
Publisher: Createspace
Publication Date: July 6th 2011
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Author Website
Review copy provided by the author.

Amir is glad to have followed his friends, Khuan and Lilloh, to the Anchin’s traveling city. The long trip might not have totally healed his heart, Eva’s decision to marry Lars still hurts, but thanks to Khuan’s teaching, in particular how to build mental barriers against the supernatural world, Amir’s mind is now at ease. Once they arrive at the traveling city, Amir is shocked by the amount of magic being used all around him. He hates magic and has tried to suppress his own magical powers from the moment they’ve arose. But after being viciously attacked by a murderous demon, Amir realizes that only by using magic will he defeat it. Amir must make a life-changing decision, either he accepts his gift and uses it or denies it and suffers the consequences.

I previously reviewed the two previous books in the Prince Amir Series, The Princes of the Golden Cage and The King’s Daughters.

So far, I loved the Prince Amir Series, and the moment I read the back blurb of Death In The Traveling City, and I realized what was actually meant with the traveling city – as in, an actual, traveling city – my love for the series tripled. If that was even possible. I mean, so far, author Nathalie Mallet has presented me with treacherous brothers of the royal blood trapped in a cage until their father, the sultan dies, their lives at risk on a daily basis. She also presented me with the kingdom of Sorvinka, a place where old magic still lives, the Baba Yaga roams freely and princesses can simply dissapear. She showed me double-crossing nobles, evil schemes, magic, mystery, death and originality that totally blew me away. I hadn’t expected her to go above and beyond that, especially in the originality department, with this third book in the series. I had never expected to be presented with a thing as strange, unusual and utterly fascinating as a traveling city.

The first thing you have to understand is that this city actually travels. Its inhabitants descend from nomadic people, and the tendency to travel all through their empire, the empire of Anchin to be more precise, has remained in these people’s blood. They can’t function well without traveling. Additionally, this is a good way for the emperor to see his entire empire occassionally, and to communicate with his people from all the corners of this extremely large country. But the concept of a traveilng city is unique, and complex. How does one deal with moving all the time? For instance, if the houses were made completely out of stone, or even wood, moving such buildings would be next to impossible, especially since the time period we are stuck in here seems to be the middle ages, meaning no fancy machinery. Instead the author found solutions for these valuable problems, inserting ‘paper’ walls for example. Although I think I’ve heard of the concept of a traveling city before – perhaps a legend in one or other religion? or in history? I can’t recall it, definitely not in a fictional novel though – this is the first time I’ve actually seen it executed. And I have to say that it works well. Extremely well, actually. Not only is it beyond fascinating, it’s also strangely fitting for the people living in Anchin, to have a capital that moves.

I can’t stress how extremely surprised I am that every time, Nathalie Mallet comes up with another interesting idea to work around. First we have a golden cage at the court of a Sultan, where princes live as prisoners, and death lies around every corner. Then we have Baba Yaga witchcraft, and now we have a traveling city. I can barely wait for what she has waiting for us in the next Prince Amir book. Anyway, we’re not there yet. By the start of Death In The Traveling City, Amir has figured out more about who, or perhaps what, he really is. He is a shal-galt, which means that he can sense magic and demons. On top of that, he’s more like a rogue shal-galt, since he wasn’t officially trained, although Khuan – the foreign emissary we met in The King’s Daughters- has started giving him some basic training on their journey to the Traveling City. Other familiar faces present are of course, faithful servant Milo, and the other emissary, the peculiar and fascinating woman Lilloh.

Since Amir doesn’t meet any other woman in the first half of this book, it was fairly easy for me to figure out that Lilloh would be the next potential love interest for our beloved main character. Although Lilloh offers a lot more personality than Princess Eva, love interest number one, I’m not sure if I like her that much. She is a complicated person, with a lot of mood swings and more secrets than imaginable. Although she threats Amir initially as if he’s foolish, stupid and cowardly, the reader soon realizes that her demeanor is simply a way for her to hide her true feelings. I’m not sure if I would like to see Lilloh and Amir spending the rest of their lives together, but as for now, they make an interesting pair. I can’t wait to see how their relationship evolves.

Once again, Amir has to adapt to changing circumstances. Back in his home country, Telfar, he was constantly threatened by his fellow brothers, but at his core, he remained a pampered prince. When he traveled to Sorvinka later on, he was forced to rely on himself and his servant Milo only to solve the mystery at hand and remain alive. For a man as paranoid and distrusting as Amir, that’s an entire accomplishment. But now, in the even stranger country of Anchin, who has Amir really to rely on? The two emissaries he hardly ever sees and has only known for a brief period of time? The Traveling City seems to be even more filled with traps than the entire kingdom of Sorvinka. On top of that, the threat waiting for him in this city, is the most dangerous threat he has faced so far. People are dying gruesome and unexplicable deaths. Whoever – or whatever – is behind it has his claws deep into the very foundation of the traveling city, and takes advantages of the obvious differences between the various races inhabiting the city. All Amir knows is that his enemy is powerful and influential, and that stopping the murders on the people of Anchin, might come at the cause of Amir’s own life…

I liked the storyline of Death In The Traveling City. The author’s writing becomes more and more solid and profound as the series progresses. But I have to admit that, taken in mind story progress, background information and setting, I enjoyed The King’s Daughters more than this current installment. Don’t get me wrong, this book was an intriguing page turner from beginning to end, but I just like the style and setting of the previous one more. I’m convinced this is a completely personal choice though – and I’m sure a lot of people owuld prefer this book above the previous ones. The mystery at hand here is, once again, a murder mystery, but it works quite well. By now I’m used to danger following Amir everywhere he goes, and that he’s usually right in the middle of it, even when he doesn’t quite realize it yet. Plus, I’m not tired of the mix of fantasy and mystery yet, and I don’t expect to be anytime soon.

The supportive cast in this book is nothing short but impressive, and remarkably larger than in the previous books. We have master Cha’tas, proverbial ruler of the underworld of Anchin, and his entire gang of evil menaces who are perhaps not as evil as first expected, Uncle Sho, and Mokoi, who turns out to be more than seen at first glance. All of these characters portray uniqueness and originality. Whereas Uncle Sho is the epitome of what you want every uncle to be like – kind, wise, generous – and Cha’tas is the evil mastermind with a certain grandfatherly charm to him, I considered Mokoi to be perhaps the most interesting side character of all. It’s obvious from the start that he has an entire story to tell. His obvious animosity towards Amir, his despise for rogue shal-galts,…There’s more to this man than meets the eye, and I was eager to find out what.

Nathalie Mallet doesn’t cease to amaze me by adding intriguing and fascinating concepts to her stories, altering them to fit into a fantasy setting and throwing her main character, Prince Amir, right in the middle of them. Surprisingly enough, this works every time. Even though I know from the start that I’m going to get a mystery and suspense story, I can’t wait to dive into the middle of it and find out what happens next. Prince Amir is an amusing character, and I enjoy seeing his personality change throughout every novel. The supportive cast in this book is extremely impressive, and the setting is undoubtably fascinating. The writing style, once again, is sublime and pulled me right into the book from page one. I read this book in one sitting. I recommend Death In The Traveling City – and the entire series for that matter – to all fans of the fantasy genre and the mystery and suspense genre. I personally can’t wait for the next book in this amazing series!

This book counts towards the Mystery and Suspense Challenge, TBR Reading Challenge and the Epic Fantasy Challenge.


  1. Just stopping by all the blogs I follow to say hello and check out what is up at your blog today! Happy reading.

  2. I do love this kind of Genre, Suspense and Romance , looking for other interesting books here that fits my idea 🙂


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